Tulsa Oilers Suffer Another Loss To Allen
TULSA, Oklahoma - For the third time in seven days, the Tulsa Oilers suffered a loss on home ice at the hands of the Allen Americans. Gary Steffes and Chad Costello, both former Oilers forwards, each chipped in a pair of goals as the Americans' offense came alive on Tuesday night in a 7-4 win in front of 3,332 at the BOK Center.
Allen drew first blood at 9:23 of the opening period as Spencer Asuchak stepped out of the penalty and sped into the Oilers' zone to receive a pass in the slot from Greger Hanson. Asuchak ripped a shot past Tulsa goalie Kevin Carr to give the Americans a 1-0 edge.
Tulsa center Steve Mele swatted home a rebound at 2:08 of the second period that was the first of six goals scored in the middle frame. Costello netted his seventh goal of the season at 3:36 and Steffes was set up by Hanson for his tenth of the season at 6:14 to give the visitors a 3-1 advantage. At 10:26, Oilers forward Adam Pleskach ended a six-game goal drought by backhanding a bouncing puck past Riley Gill to pull Tulsa back within a single goal. Tommy Mele capped off a partial breakaway with a brilliant forehand-to-backhand deke on Gill at 18:15 to level the game at 3-3. The Oilers' momentum was wiped away by Costello just 11 seconds after the Mele tally. From the left wing, Costello cranked up a perfectly placed shot into the upper corner on the far side of the net. The second goal of the night for the Iowa native pushed Allen back in front 4-3 as the two sides headed into the intermission.
With the Oilers on a lengthy, four-minute power play to start the third period, Jack Combs forced a turnover at the Tulsa blue line and finished a shorthanded breakaway by sliding the puck between Carr's legs. Only 1:46 into the period and the Americans' two-goal lead was restored on Combs' eleventh goal of the season. Tommy Mele's second goal of the night at 12:44 brought the Oilers back within striking distance at 5-4 but another quick reply from the Americans put a halt to the Tulsa comeback bid. Steffes lifted a backhand over the pad of Carr at 14:40 to provide Allen with an insurance marker. An empty net goal by Justin Baker at 19:03 sealed the victory for the Americans and pushed them back into first place in the Central Division.
The Oilers outshot the Americans 36-34 but squandered their power play opportunities and finished 0-for-10 on the man-advantage. The Mele brothers led the attack for the Oilers with Tommy posting a pair of goals and an assist and Steve recording a goal and a helper. Five Allen players ended the night with multiple points and three - Hanson, Combs, and Asuchak - skated off the ice with three-point efforts.
Tulsa fell to 10-6-3 overall and 2-3-1 against the Americans this season. The two clubs meet again on Wednesday night at 7:05 p.m. at the Allen Event Center before finishing up their three-game series on Friday night at the BOK Center.